While I am not sure I will go back and rewatch this one any time soon, it was none the less a beautiful, lyrical episode. Which makes sense, considering the theme...
I really liked seeing Clara interact with Merry. I feel that they wrote a companion who is good with kids because Matt Smith is brilliant with kids (in a way that Tennant and Eccleston never quite achieved) and they wanted an excuse to bring more of them into the show. Which is frankly awesome, since this is supposed to be a family show...
Most profound moment for me was, strangely enough, when Clara and the Doctor join the assembly to watch the singing. When was the last time we saw a companion soak in a new experience so joyfully? The sheer glee and wonder on Clara's face was awesome. It was also interesting to watch a pair of people immersed in a completely new sense of religious worship. Rarely do we see that on television, and I thought it was really fascinating.
Like most fans, I was super excited at the reference to Susan. It's the subtle nods to the past that keep this show interconnected, and this year of all years it is great to see more homages of this sort being paid. It's also interesting because there are really two dynamics to the Clara/Doctor relationship. One is the witty flirting... but the other has more of a grandfather/granddaughter feel to it, in a weird way. Probably because the Doctor is dressing more grandfatherly than he has in ages, and probably because when she's not flirting with him, Clara behaves totally like a granddaughter, with the excited curiosity, and even the insisting that the Doctor pay for the motorbike. Anyone else pick up on this, or am I being totally crazy here?
Loved that we got to Clara's family, get the leaf explained, and also see some interesting connections to Rose Tyler. #1 - the car that almost ran down Clara's father appears to be the some one that hit Pete Tyler. #2 - the day Clara's mother died is the date that Rose's first episode "Rose" happened, leading some fans to speculate that Clara's mother died in the auton attack. (What if Clara was there, and at that point Clara was replaced by an auton, and her mother was killed to cover this up?)
Question/critique of the week by most fans is that Clara blew up the sun, so how are the seven planets going to survive? A sciency person on tumblr pointed out that that wasn't the sun, it was a gas planet (which is why it had rings) that was ONE of the seven planets, and the actual sun/star is still glowing just fine.
I think that sums this week up! Who is psyched about this Saturday's upcoming episode?